Prodrive Racing Australia’s Chaz Mostert is pleased with yet another consistent result for the Supercheap Auto FG X after being forced to double stack in a rain-interrupted Sandown 500.
Co-driver Steve Owen started the race from fifth position, maintaining consistent speed before rain created havoc for the field.
Electing to pit, Owen stacked behind a charging Stanaway who chose to stay on slick tyres.
After also starting the race, Stanaway moved through the field with ease, jumping to second before handing the car to Pither.
Struggling with rear grip from the start of his stint, Pither managed to keep the car clean to finish in 17th place.
With strong pace, Dean Canto also improved significantly on The Bottle-O pair’s 22nd starting position to move into the top ten.
Running on slick tyres, a moment of back luck at turn four cost the duo position while causing a safety car for the field.
While the car was not badly damaged, time spent being retrieved cost the number one car valuable laps. Winterbottom was unable to improve on their position, finishing 24th.
After starting at the back of the field, Monster Energy co-driver Jack Le Brocq rallied into the top twenty before the driver change.
Waters was able to maintain the strong position achieved by Le Brocq before sliding into the tyre barrier at turn four. Damage to the car and an oil spill forced the team to retire the car.
#1 The Bottle-O PRA Ford
Sandown 500: 24th
“It was a long day. The car wasn’t quite there. We need to get our speed back. Yesterday and the day before was pretty ugly. To actually get our car in the race then and see Dean doing good sectors was really promising. I was looking forward to getting in but in the Championship we’re nowhere now. We’ll try and win Bathurst, we’ll try and win the next ones and push on but we need a quick car. The car’s inconsistent. Today it was good and we wasted it but Dean did a really good job. I was really happy with how he went in the car.”
“Obviously we were one of the first to pit and put slicks on and then two laps later, the rain came down. It wasn’t too heavy, everyone else put wets on and our pace was actually quite good and it sort of dried up so we were strong again and then a little bit of rain came. Still time wise we did okay lap times and I was comfortable in the car, wasn’t doing anything risky, and just came into turn four there where Ash Walsh stuck his nose up the inside. I left him some room but around the outside of the track was like ice. I turned the wheel and it didn’t turn the car, it just went straight ahead. It was the world’s slowest run off the circuit into the tyre barrier and I got stuck there. The grass was really wet and I couldn’t get out and it was day done.”
#6 Monster Energy PRA Ford
Sandown 500: DNF
“A really average day. It never really came together. It wasn’t our day. We had no luck all weekend. The car was pretty good I thought. It wasn’t quite quick enough to be top five but quick enough for top ten easily. We were trucking around okay and then we were down on power all race and then something happened to the motor and pumped all of its oil out and we had to retire it so it was a pretty bad ending but that’s racing.”
Jack Le Brocq
“It wasn’t too bad out there. I had a really good stint through the wet and everything. Struggled a little bit on the dry tyre but it wasn’t too bad when I handed the car over to Cam. We were effectively 12th or 13th or something like that so it wasn’t a bad run. Unfortunately we didn’t end up in a good way at the end.”
#55 Supercheap Auto PRA Ford
Sandown 500: 5th
“It was a tough day on weather. It’s pretty hard on all types of drivers being dry then wet then wet then dry and trying to push those limits on a drying track and trying to explore those widths coming into corners and how much you can get out of it so a couple of hairy moments but today our car 55 in the retro livery held up pretty well. I think we definitely tuned the car up over the weekend which is pretty hard to do once you roll out of the truck. A lot of positives out of today. To be top five, I’m pretty happy and I think we definitely had podium pace. Looking forward to the next event and getting back to Bathurst. My demon/glory track but I’m excited. I’m definitely getting some more consistency with the car, finishing well and qualifying well so I’m pretty happy at this stage. We’ll keep working for little gains and see how we roll out at Bathurst.”
“It was up and down. It was pretty tricky conditions. A few people ended up spraying it and we were sort of looking alright until we had to double stack. That generally kills your afternoon but Chaz did a great job to drag it back up into fifth but it would have been nice to see where we could have ended up if we didn’t have to double stack. It was good to race with Chaz. We had similar feedback on the car. I’m comfortable in the car. All seems to be working well so fingers crossed for Bathurst.”
#111 Super Black PRA Ford
Sandown 500: 17th
“I think overall the result isn’t actually too bad. I was struggling a little bit there, it just seemed to lose the rear tyres pretty quickly and just struggled for pace really. Didn’t have much confidence to attack and out of the gate I just had a lot of drop off so we’ve got a few things to work out and the balance itself was pretty similar to what we had yesterday but we just couldn’t keep the rear tyres on it. It was a tough day but we’ll take the result we got, learn from it and look forward to the next enduro.”
“The start of the race was pretty tricky with us obviously with the rain coming but the track was fairly intermediate so whether you’re on slicks or wets, pace wise it seemed similar so obviously starting at the back I wanted to roll the dice. There’s no point in just following everyone in to go for wets. It was much riskier because you can go from hero to zero pretty quickly in those conditions so I was just trying to survive. We went through phases where the slick tyre was better then the wet tyre was better and then I just tried to capitalise on the track when it started drying up a little bit. Towards the end of my last fuel load it started raining a bit more and I was just trying to survive again. Pretty happy with my stint but obviously bit disappointing where we ended up overall. We didn’t really want to finish 17th but we have a straight car and with those mixed conditions that can be pretty hard to do. Not the result that we wanted but we’ll look into it and try to finish a little further up at Bathurst.”
Tim Edwards – Team Principal:
“A couple of good drives out there and some more back luck for us today. Dean was doing a great job and just before he was going to pit, to have that happen in pretty heart breaking. Richie did a fantastic job as well but just a few little problems for Chris there in the end. A great job by Steve and for Chaz to bring it back in his final stint. They both had some great pace and it’s exciting to see where they can go from here. Unlucky for Cam and Jack. It just didn’t go their way again today. A few things to look at but I think everyone is excited to get to Bathurst in a couple of weeks.”
Prodrive Racing (Australia)’s Garry Jacobson has taken home the Dunlop Series round win and the championship lead at the Sandown 500 after a strong drive in race three. After starting from the front row, a slow start in wet weather saw the car six crew elect to pit for slicks just a few laps in, a call that saw him race through the field to finish fifth. Jack Le Brocq praised the Prodrive Racing crew for repairing his GoGetta Racing FG X overnight after sustaining substantial damage in race two. Starting in 20th, a strong drive from Le Brocq saw him finish second and salvage further championship points.
Jack Le Brocq – #5 GoGetta Racing PRA Ford:
Race 3: 2nd
“It was really good to get back out there for race three. The guys did an awesome job getting the car back together so a massive thanks to them. It was awesome to get a good result after all of the guys’ hard work. We came from 20th through to second so it was a really good run. I’m really happy with it.”
Garry Jacobson – #6 Challenger Valve PRA Ford:
Race 3: 5th
“Pretty happy with today. We had a consistent weekend and to get the round win is great. We have a good lead in the championship now. I didn’t get the best start in the race but making the call to come in for tyres under safety car was a good one. It allowed me to put my head down and get back up to a good position. Bring on Bathurst.”
1) Garth Tander/Warren Luff – HRT
2) Shane van Gisbergen/Alex Premat – Triple Eight
3) Will Davison/Jono Webb – Tekno
4) Scott McLaughlin/David Wall – GRM
5) Chaz Mostert/Steve Owen – Supercheap Auto Racing
17) Chris Pither/Richie Stanaway – Super Black Racing
24) Mark Winterbottom/Dean Canto – Prodrive Racing Australia
DNF) Cameron Waters/Jack Le Brocq – Prodrive Racing Australia
DRIVER CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1) Shane van Gisbergen – Triple Eight: 2248
2) Jamie Whincup – Triple Eight: 2241
3) Craig Lowndes – Triple Eight: 2091
4) Scott McLaughlin – Garry Rogers Motorsport: 1989
5) Mark Winterbottom – Prodrive Racing: 1902
7) Chaz Mostert – Prodrive Racing: 1757
18) Chris Pither– Super Black Racing: 103
20) Cameron Waters – Prodrive Racing: 993
1) Triple Eight: 2299
2) HRT: 3226
3) GRM: 2991
5) Prodrive Racing Australia: 2920